Taking a High Scope Approach in a Turkish Preschool: Assessing the Physical Environment and the Promotion of Positive Adult-Child Interaction
In this study, according to assessment of physical environment in a preschool in Turkey which adopts a High/Scope learning model, it is claimed that spatial characteristics of learning environment support preschool children’s development and help them to participate in the learning process actively. The architectural features also enable children to live independently and to participate in the social life and provide high quality of life. The main principle in this child-centered environment is the construction of knowledge by children who learn by experiencing and making.
The High/Scope approach is one of the models of early childhood education which promotes active learning. The history, objectives and general principles of this approach have been outlined throughout the study. One of the main principles of this model is positive adult/child interaction. This institution reinforces the importance of this principle by inviting one parent each week to participate in workshops in their children’s classes until every parent has carried out a study which she/he prefers.
In this study, results of one of the workshops have been presented. Eleven 5-year-old children, two teachers and a parent have participated in this workshop. Two studies have been carried out during one hour. The first makes a three-dimensional model of a stroller in order to observe diversity among children’s capabilities of perception of objects. The process of model making is viewed as more important than the product. The products are exhibited in the class, since products are the reflections of active knowledge construction and learning process. Second is to make a drawing of a preferred place within the borders of the institution such as an indoor or an outdoor activity space, or a classroom in order to observe diversity in children’s evaluation and representation of their learning environment, which is arranged according to High/Scope principles.
Keywords: High/Scope Learning Approach, Child-Centered, Active Learning, Kowledge Construction, Adult-Child Interaction
Dr. Selen Durak
Doctoral Student, Faculty of Architecture, Middle East Technical University